The girl behind the mask
Megan Shindler, a political science and theatre major, is conducting an ethnographic theatre project that utilizes art as activism against sexual violence and in exploration of reproductive rights.
The project, “S(he) Will Fade,” is currently in its fourth year of production. Shindler was inspired to get involved with this specific issue after speaking with individuals who had been affected by sexual violence.
“I started speaking to victims of sexual crimes and survivors of rape, and I started collecting their stories,” Shindler said. “It became very apparent to me that these were stories that needed to be shared.”
The project is composed of rape testimonies from both victims and attackers. The interviewees remain anonymous, however their stories will be transformed into a playbill that actors across the nation can perform to promote awareness of the issue in society.
In addition to creating and working on S(he) Will Fade, Shindler just authored a proposal that advocates for the augmentation of Title IX.
“I recently just proposed augmenting that piece of legislation, to have it expand and have it include all new kinds of university policies and procedures and programs,” Shindler said. “So when these crimes happen on university campuses it becomes a matter of law enforcement.”
Shindler is patiently waiting to see what transpires, but hopes that someone of significance will take notice of her proposal.
“We’ll have to see what comes next, we’ll have to see who listens and who pays attention and who feels that that kind of policy is important and timely,” Shindler said. “I just have to hope that there’ll be some public officials in DC who will read that and who will understand the dire situation of this issue.”
Shindler specializes in political theatre and has experience speaking about art in relation to social issues. She presented a TEDx talk in 2015 titled, “The Artist is ___,” which focused on the power of art as a medium for the advocacy of social and political issues.
“I fell in love with how much power theatre had to change people’s minds,” Shindler said.
Shindler has also presented her artwork outside of the White House for the 2015 World Children’s Festival. Shindler was a peace artist at the festival and created a theatre piece that was performed by some of the children at the three daylong event.
The S(he) Will Fade project currently has a Facebook and Tumblr page where anyone can submit questions, keep up with the movement and contribute to the project.